زلزله‌ای شدید استان سیستان و بلوچستان را لرزاند

خبر فوری- به گزارش مرکز زلزله نگاری آمریکا، زلزله ای به قدرت  ۸ / ۷  درجه در مقیاس ریشتر در منطقه سراوان سیستان و بلوچستان روی داده است. موسسه ژئوفیزیک دانشگاه تهران، قدرت این زمین لرزه را هفت و نیم درجه در مقیاس ریشتر اعلام کرده است. خبرگزاری ها می نویسند که این زمین لرزه در نقاط مختلف خاورمیانه نیز احساس شده. تا کنون گزارشی از تلفات و خسارات وارده نرسیده است.

زلزله‌ای شدید استان سیستان و بلوچستان را لرزاند is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

The post زلزله‌ای شدید استان سیستان و بلوچستان را لرزاند appeared first on Persian Icons.

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A hymn for Nasrin Sotoudeh on the occasion of New Year / Mansoureh Shojaei

FeministSchool: The 6th of the Persian month of Farvardin (March 26th) is the birthday of the Prophet Zarathustra; it is also the day when he began to pray his creator. My New Year message: We regard every day as auspicious, signs of a marvellous spring keep growing, the font of spring is the New Year; our eyes garner every day new marvels and they will last until the month of Khordad (June/July) : a vernal exhilaration of humanity, of earth and heavens. When the heat of summer arrives, their intensity will decline.

016743903 40300 | A hymn for Nasrin Sotoudeh on the occasion of New Year / Mansoureh Shojaei

It is the third New Year far from home; not only is the arrival of spring not felt, there’s no calendar. Well, in fact there is a calendar, but it does not show correlations between solar and lunar events, and, of course, bears no relation to the Western calendar; it coincides with the latest information about Iran. This calendar does not mention seasons, nature, Zarathustra or anything like that. Its raisons d’être are events impacting Iran, and their increasing or decreasing importance. For instance, the day the year changes is the one some prisoners were released on furlough and Nasrin Sotoudeh’s unexpected arrival at home; in the same way, Farvardin 1st (March 21st) is the birthday of a dear one in Iran, Favardin 5th (March 24th) the day when Kasra Nouri, one the dervishes detained in Adel-Abad prison of Shiraz, passed out on the sixth day of his hunger strike.

Farvardin 6th, after one week on furlough, Nasrin will have to go back to prison. I could not remember Zarathustra’s birthday or the day he began preaching, but on the sixth day after Norooz, I picked the phone up several times to contact Nasrin but hung it up gently. The new calendar is filled with suitable days for conversations, also full of anguish to know whether I should malke contact; it matches my destiny, always doubtfully expecting, waiting for anothers’ decision, balancing whether to write. Above all, do not create more trouble, do not bother others, do not…. Reza Khandan’s quiet and sad voice telling that the connection worked, the voice says that uncertainty disappeared, that they are just back from a trip… Nasrin’s firm and gentle voice, making me feel somewhat embarrassed, which at last frees me from stress.

The usual gentle greetings, advice from a lawyer who is always concerned about the prisoners’ conditions, then empathy, and she is somewhat unhappy about the official propaganda regarding her furlough, so far from truth; she says that this too short furlough does not compensate for heavy and unjust sentences, it does not solve any problem. She says that when her parents died, she was granted only one day’s furlough; she speaks sadly and bitterly of her parents’ deaths. She says that now, on the sixth day, she must return to prison and not spend the rest of the holidays with her husband and children. She says that these too short furloughs are not the remedy for all these sentences, all these injustices. She says the remedy could be showing respect to all the people suffering from unjust sentences, who are tired of so much inequity. She says the remedy could be to fix the fate of countless prisoners in limbo about their fate (many prisoners have no legal status, charges, sentences, are in preventive detention, etc) to grant them a fair and humane trial. She says that the prisons are full; many youth were sentenced for showing interest in their fellow-countrymen’s fates, which endangers their future. She says how to ask for freedom under these circumstances? She says that the repeal of all unfair convictions is her vow for the New Year. She says that her furlough was too short, she had to join her fellow detainees, she then said good-bye.In my calendar, Farvardin 6th is Nasrin’s prayer for her friends’ day. May her life last long and her words last forever.

نوروزنامه ای برای نسرین ستوده
منصوره شجاعی

روایت است ششم فروردین راکه تولد زرتشت پیامبر است و هم روزی که وی زبان به مناجات با پرودگارش گشود.

ایام نوروزرا چون نیک بنگریم به هرروزتقویمش، شان نزولی است و شگفت بهاری افزون می سازد. نوروزخودهمچو بهاراست که هرروزش چشم به اعجابی دیگرخیره می شود تا به خرداد که شوربهارانه انسان و زمین وآسمان با رخ نمودن گرمای تموز فروهشته شود.

حالا این سومین نوروز دور ازخانه است؛ شوربهارانه که ندارد هیچ، تقویم هم ندارد. یعنی دارد اما این تقویم شمسی وقمری نیست. ازقضا میلادی هم نیست. این تقویمی است مصادف با روزآمد ترین وگاه کهنه ترین اخبار ایران. این تقویم هیچ ربطی به فصل، به طبیعت، به زرتشت و به چیزهایی از این دست ندارد.فروهشتگی وفراهشتگی اش نیزنظربه اخبار رسیده تعیین می شود. مثلا تحویل سال مصادف است با خبرمرخصی تعدادی از زندانیان و سرزده رسیدن نسرین ستوده به خانه اش. اول فروردین اش مصادف است با تولد عزیزی در ایران. پنجم فروردین مصادف است با روزی که کسری نوری یکی از دراویش زندانی در عادل آباد شیراز در ششمین روز اعتصاب غذای خود از حال رفت! ششم فروردین مصادف است با روزی که نسرین ستوده بعد از یک هفته مرخصی کوتاه باید به زندان برگردد.

پس بی یادی از تولد زرتشت ومناجات گونه هایش در ششمین روز نوروز، به قصد تماس با نسرین چندین و چند بار گوشی تلفن را برمیدارم و دوباره آرام سرجایش می گذارم.از برگ اول تا به آخر این تقویم جدید پر است از روزهای همنشینی من و اضطراب تماس هایی که می گیرم ونمی گیرم، سراسر پر است ازهم طالعی من وبلاتکلیفی نامه هایی که می نویسم و نمی نویسم،… مباد کسی را به دردسر بیندازی، مباد کسی رابیش بیازاری، مباد…صدای آرام و غمگین رضا خندان، اما می گفت که ارتباط ایجاد شده و دیگر جایی برای تردید وبی تصمیمی نمانده بود، صدا می گفت که تازه از سفر رسیده اند… وبعد صدای محکم، مصمم، مهربان و این بار کمی آزرده نسرین بود که تردید و اضطراب از جان به در برد.

اول سفارش های مهربانانه همیشگی بود. بعد توصیه های یک وکیل همیشه…وسپس نگرانی نسبت به وضعیت زندانیان. ودرددل ها و شاید نوعی گله مندی حقوقی که گویا درمجامع رسمی تبلیغات درمورد مرخصی های کوتاه نسرین، بیشتر از واقعیت بوده است که به اعتقاد او این مرخصی های کوتاه درقبال آن حکم های سنگین وناعادلانه نه جوابگو و نه درمانگراست. برای فوت پدر و مادرش تنها یک روز مرخصی به او داده بودند و با چه تلخی و اندوهی از مرگ آنها گفت. وحالا هم که ششم عید باید برمی گشت و حتی تا پایان نوروزرا با فرزندان وهمسرخویش به سرنکرد. گفت که این مرخصی های کوتاه،درمان و دلجویی آن حکم های غیرعادلانه نیست. گفت درمان در مدارا کردن با مردمانی است که از حکم های ناعادلانه رنج می کشند و ازبی عدالتی به ستوه آمده اند. گفت درمان در تعیین تکلیف خیل زندانی های بلاتکلیف و سرگردان است تا که پرونده ها به عدالت و دلجویی ختم به خیر شود. گفت که تا وقتی زندانها پر است و احکام سنگین آینده جوانان دلسوز این مرزوبوم را در گوشه های زندان رقم زده است چگونه میتوان داد آزادی سر داد؟ گفت لغو احکام ناعادلانه زندانیان و بازداشت شدگان خواست و آرزوی بهارانه اوست.گفت مرخصی اش بیش از حد کوتاه بوده و باید برودوبه هم بندانش درزندان بپیوندد. گفت خداحافظ…!

ششم فروردین ماه درتقویم این دیاره من مصادف بود با روزمناجات نسرین ستوده با دوستان و دوستدارانش… جانش به سلامت و جان کلامش مستدام! 

A hymn for Nasrin Sotoudeh on the occasion of New Year / Mansoureh Shojaei is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

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Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity

The sister of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who died while undergoing interrogation in a police detention center in November 2012, has been receiving constant death threats to remain silent about his case, she told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Five months after his death, the investigation into his death has still not been forwarded to the court.

 

 

sattar beheshti mother sister | Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity

“Sattar was innocent and he died under torture. The forces entered my mother’s home without a warrant, took him, killed him four days later, and now they tell us to shut up,” Sahar Beheshti, the sister of deceased blogger Sattar Beheshti, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

 

Sahar Beheshti, Sattar’s sister, told the Campaign that she has been threatened with death or imprisonment at the notorious Kahrizak Prison, where election protesters were killed in 2009. “They publicly stop me on the street and tell me they will take me to Kahrizak [Prison]; they talk about Taraneh Mousavi [an election protestor allegedly raped and killed while in custody in 2009], God knows what disgraceful things they tell me. We are still under pressure. They want us to keep quiet. When my mom gives interviews, their threatening phone calls come to me, asking me why my mom gave an interview, or saying that I should be happy I was allowed to go visit my brother’s grave again this week,” Sahar Beheshti told the Campaign.

Iran has a history of impunity for deaths in prison, according to many cases documented by the Campaign and by the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran. Rather than holding perpetrators accountable, Iranian authorities often target and pressure the family members of victims to be silent.

On April 9, 2013, Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar appeared before the Iranian Parliament to answer questions raised by MP Ali Motahari regarding the death of Sattar Beheshti while in custody of the police. In response to Motahari’s questions, Najjar said, “We must wait for the Judiciary’s ruling.” In his report, the Interior Minister described Sattar Beheshti as an individual who “through publishing content in his blogs acted to propagate against the state, and cooperated with political activists who are spiteful to the system and was in touch with them.” The Interior Minister, however, did not specify who the spiteful political activists were.

Motahari said April 9 that he could not find any insulting content in Sattar Beheshti’s blogs. “His charge was criticizing or insulting the state official in his blogs. Of course ‘insult’ has a specific definition in the law and includes profane words, but I did not find any such things in Sattar Beheshti’s writings,” Motahari noted.

Motahari, a member of the Parliament’s Cultural Commission, referred to other imprisoned bloggers and demanded that they not be treated harshly. Regarding claims that Sattar Beheshti’s mother signed a document waiving her right to pursue justice for wrongful death, he said, “It is possible that they say Sattar Beheshti’s mother has given her [signature], but she said that she was shown her daughter’s arrest warrant in order to receive her [signature], and that she did not want to lose another child: this is why she signed. Even if his mother gave her consent [waiving the right to pursue], the Prosecutor’s right to pursue this case is reserved.” Motahari and several other MPs said after the Parliament session that they were not convinced with the answers the Interior Minister provided about Sattar Beheshti’s cause of death.

About the officials’ frequent reference to her mother’s signature, Beheshti said, “Four days after Sattar was murdered, they took my mother without my knowledge on the pretext of showing her Sattar’s torturers. They threatened her there, telling her, ‘How do you know Sahar will be alive when you return home? We may kill Sahar like Sattar. You have to provide your [signature] and now allow Sahar to be taken away, too.’ My mother was frightened and because she didn’t want to lose another child, she was forced to give her consent, but this consent is not directed to any specific individual or individuals. The case lawyer, Ms. Pourfazel, also asked the judge and the forces later what purpose this [document] served, as they themselves say that Sattar died of natural causes, a heart attack. They took a [document waiving the right to pursue justice] for a death resulting from natural causes? His lawyer said that a [signature] given under threat is not acceptable.”

Sahar Beheshti, 28 and herself a young mother, told the Campaign that she and her family have grown tired of the threats and are no longer afraid of reporting them. “I swear we are tired of this life. As we were preparing to go to my brother’s gravesite on the last Friday of the Year [March 15, 2013], they called me and said, ‘We will arrest you and beat you. Don’t go there.’ I am under pressure even for going to my brother’s grave. When we go to the gravesite, a female officer comes and tells me, ‘Get up! What do you want here?’ I live with constant fear; now when I want to leave the house, I say my final prayers.”

Describing the latest developments in the case of her brother’s death, Sahar Beheshti said, “Before the New Year [March 21, 2013], the court asked for the probate document. We took it to court with our lawyer and gave it to the Judge. Judge Shariari said that the research is still incomplete, but he also gave us hope that the case will soon be delivered to court. He told us that Sattar’s torturer is in prison.”

Sahar Beheshti added, “We have been oppressed. We are not the oppressors. Our family member was murdered, we did not murder anyone, and someone has to come to our aid. When I say these things, the forces tell me, ‘Watch your words! Close your mouth!’”

Asked whether she knows from whom the threats come on the phone and on the street, Sahar Behesthi said, “From security forces. It’s not clear from which organization, because they are all plainclothes forces. They never show me their cards. Later, when I tell these to the police, they tell me, ‘Tell us who they are. File a complaint.’ Where should I file my complaint?”

Regarding her family and their requests, Sahar Beheshti told the Campaign, “My mother continues to demand fair punishment. We are absolutely not going to provide consent [to waive our rights] or to accept any of the other offers made to us. We only want the formation of a fair court with a jury . . . because Sattar was innocent and he died under torture. The forces entered my mother’s home without a warrant, took him, killed him four days later, and now they tell us to shut up.”

Sattar Beheshti, 35, laborer and blogger, was arrested by Iran’s Cyber Police on charges of “acting against national security through activities in social networks and Facebook.” He was brutally tortured during his interrogations and died in the process. He was buried at Robat Karim Cemetery near where he lived. His date of death is officially registered as November 3, 2012.

After news of Sattar Beheshti’s death was published, 41 Evin Prison political prisoners published a letter on Kaleme website and stated that Sattar Beheshti had been held at Evin Prison’s Ward 350 on October 31 and November 1, 2012, and that signs of torture could be seen all over different parts of his body.

In an article published November 9, 2012, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran quoted one of Sattar Beheshti’s relatives who had seen his corpse prior to burial saying, “There was a large dent on his head and they had put plaster over his head. His face was swollen. As soon as they untied his shroud, blood splattered on the shroud from the side of his right knee. There were signs of an autopsy on his body, as well.”

Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

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Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity

The sister of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who died while undergoing interrogation in a police detention center in November 2012, has been receiving constant death threats to remain silent about his case, she told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Five months after his death, the investigation into his death has still not been forwarded to the court.

 

 

sattar beheshti mother sister | Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity

“Sattar was innocent and he died under torture. The forces entered my mother’s home without a warrant, took him, killed him four days later, and now they tell us to shut up,” Sahar Beheshti, the sister of deceased blogger Sattar Beheshti, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

 

Sahar Beheshti, Sattar’s sister, told the Campaign that she has been threatened with death or imprisonment at the notorious Kahrizak Prison, where election protesters were killed in 2009. “They publicly stop me on the street and tell me they will take me to Kahrizak [Prison]; they talk about Taraneh Mousavi [an election protestor allegedly raped and killed while in custody in 2009], God knows what disgraceful things they tell me. We are still under pressure. They want us to keep quiet. When my mom gives interviews, their threatening phone calls come to me, asking me why my mom gave an interview, or saying that I should be happy I was allowed to go visit my brother’s grave again this week,” Sahar Beheshti told the Campaign.

Iran has a history of impunity for deaths in prison, according to many cases documented by the Campaign and by the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran. Rather than holding perpetrators accountable, Iranian authorities often target and pressure the family members of victims to be silent.

On April 9, 2013, Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar appeared before the Iranian Parliament to answer questions raised by MP Ali Motahari regarding the death of Sattar Beheshti while in custody of the police. In response to Motahari’s questions, Najjar said, “We must wait for the Judiciary’s ruling.” In his report, the Interior Minister described Sattar Beheshti as an individual who “through publishing content in his blogs acted to propagate against the state, and cooperated with political activists who are spiteful to the system and was in touch with them.” The Interior Minister, however, did not specify who the spiteful political activists were.

Motahari said April 9 that he could not find any insulting content in Sattar Beheshti’s blogs. “His charge was criticizing or insulting the state official in his blogs. Of course ‘insult’ has a specific definition in the law and includes profane words, but I did not find any such things in Sattar Beheshti’s writings,” Motahari noted.

Motahari, a member of the Parliament’s Cultural Commission, referred to other imprisoned bloggers and demanded that they not be treated harshly. Regarding claims that Sattar Beheshti’s mother signed a document waiving her right to pursue justice for wrongful death, he said, “It is possible that they say Sattar Beheshti’s mother has given her [signature], but she said that she was shown her daughter’s arrest warrant in order to receive her [signature], and that she did not want to lose another child: this is why she signed. Even if his mother gave her consent [waiving the right to pursue], the Prosecutor’s right to pursue this case is reserved.” Motahari and several other MPs said after the Parliament session that they were not convinced with the answers the Interior Minister provided about Sattar Beheshti’s cause of death.

About the officials’ frequent reference to her mother’s signature, Beheshti said, “Four days after Sattar was murdered, they took my mother without my knowledge on the pretext of showing her Sattar’s torturers. They threatened her there, telling her, ‘How do you know Sahar will be alive when you return home? We may kill Sahar like Sattar. You have to provide your [signature] and now allow Sahar to be taken away, too.’ My mother was frightened and because she didn’t want to lose another child, she was forced to give her consent, but this consent is not directed to any specific individual or individuals. The case lawyer, Ms. Pourfazel, also asked the judge and the forces later what purpose this [document] served, as they themselves say that Sattar died of natural causes, a heart attack. They took a [document waiving the right to pursue justice] for a death resulting from natural causes? His lawyer said that a [signature] given under threat is not acceptable.”

Sahar Beheshti, 28 and herself a young mother, told the Campaign that she and her family have grown tired of the threats and are no longer afraid of reporting them. “I swear we are tired of this life. As we were preparing to go to my brother’s gravesite on the last Friday of the Year [March 15, 2013], they called me and said, ‘We will arrest you and beat you. Don’t go there.’ I am under pressure even for going to my brother’s grave. When we go to the gravesite, a female officer comes and tells me, ‘Get up! What do you want here?’ I live with constant fear; now when I want to leave the house, I say my final prayers.”

Describing the latest developments in the case of her brother’s death, Sahar Beheshti said, “Before the New Year [March 21, 2013], the court asked for the probate document. We took it to court with our lawyer and gave it to the Judge. Judge Shariari said that the research is still incomplete, but he also gave us hope that the case will soon be delivered to court. He told us that Sattar’s torturer is in prison.”

Sahar Beheshti added, “We have been oppressed. We are not the oppressors. Our family member was murdered, we did not murder anyone, and someone has to come to our aid. When I say these things, the forces tell me, ‘Watch your words! Close your mouth!’”

Asked whether she knows from whom the threats come on the phone and on the street, Sahar Behesthi said, “From security forces. It’s not clear from which organization, because they are all plainclothes forces. They never show me their cards. Later, when I tell these to the police, they tell me, ‘Tell us who they are. File a complaint.’ Where should I file my complaint?”

Regarding her family and their requests, Sahar Beheshti told the Campaign, “My mother continues to demand fair punishment. We are absolutely not going to provide consent [to waive our rights] or to accept any of the other offers made to us. We only want the formation of a fair court with a jury . . . because Sattar was innocent and he died under torture. The forces entered my mother’s home without a warrant, took him, killed him four days later, and now they tell us to shut up.”

Sattar Beheshti, 35, laborer and blogger, was arrested by Iran’s Cyber Police on charges of “acting against national security through activities in social networks and Facebook.” He was brutally tortured during his interrogations and died in the process. He was buried at Robat Karim Cemetery near where he lived. His date of death is officially registered as November 3, 2012.

After news of Sattar Beheshti’s death was published, 41 Evin Prison political prisoners published a letter on Kaleme website and stated that Sattar Beheshti had been held at Evin Prison’s Ward 350 on October 31 and November 1, 2012, and that signs of torture could be seen all over different parts of his body.

In an article published November 9, 2012, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran quoted one of Sattar Beheshti’s relatives who had seen his corpse prior to burial saying, “There was a large dent on his head and they had put plaster over his head. His face was swollen. As soon as they untied his shroud, blood splattered on the shroud from the side of his right knee. There were signs of an autopsy on his body, as well.”

Deceased Blogger’s Sister Threatened with Death for Challenging Impunity is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

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6.3 magnitude quake strikes near Iran’s Bushehr nuke facility, deaths reported

Three people have been killed after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near Bushehr in Iran, according to state TV. The area is home to the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, which is located just 11 miles southeast of the city.

The quake has been given “orange alert level” by the US Geological Survey (USGS). An orange alert means that significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. 

The earthquake’s epicenter was 89 kilometers (55 miles) away from the plant, just outside the town of Kaki. There are currently no reports available from the town.

The depth of the quake was 10 km (6.2miles). It was followed by several aftershocks.

“We could clearly feel the earthquake,” a local resident told Reuters. “The windows and chandeliers all shook.”

The Bushehr plant remains unaffected, according to an official from Atomstroyexport – the Russian company which built the station.

“The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor, personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” he told RIA Novosti.

People on social media reported feeling the quake in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There were no immediate reports of damages.

Gulf Arab countries and Western experts have voiced concerns about the Bushehr plant, which is built in a heily seismic area. Iran has repeatedly denied allegations that it could be unsafe.

Bushehr, which is home to around 160,000 people, is located on Iran’s southwestern coastal region. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said in December another plant is slated for construction next to the Bushehr plant.

Iran extends across several major faults in the earth’s crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes. In August 2012, two quakes in Northwestern Iran claimed the lives of 306 people and injured more than 4,500 others.

Source: RT.com

6.3 magnitude quake strikes near Iran’s Bushehr nuke facility, deaths reported is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

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An Iranian Blogger’s Hunger Strike in Question

350 Iranian bloggers, political and civil society activists co-signed a letter last week warning that the life of publisher, physicist and blogger, Mehdi Khazali is in grave danger after he has been on hunger strike for more than 90 days.

But while some bloggers warn that Mehdi Khazali’s life is danger, there are also those who question whether he is really on hunger strike.

Khazali is the son of a leading right-wing cleric and former Counsel of Guardians member, Ayatollah Khazali. He was arrested together with several participants of a writer’s association called Saraye Ghalam.

Iranian blogger Freedomseeker [fa] explains the rumours:

… one of main reasons that people do not believe in Khazali’s hunger strike is that more than a year ago, it was announced that he had been on hunger strike for 67 days. Shortly after he was released by order of Ayatholah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s Leader, Khazali started his weekly mountain hiking and urged people to take part in parliamentary elections. In the photos published from his mountain hiking, there was no visible sign of a long hunger strike and he appeared in good shape… His past activities with the regime made some people suspect the regime is in the process of creating fake opposition.

Not everyone shares this belief. An online petition calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mehdi Khazali:

Mehdi Khazali renews hunger strike. Mehdi Khazali, a jailed Iranian physician and blogger, has begun his sixth round of a hunger strike in Evin Prison. Mehdi Khazali was last arrested in November of 2012 after security forces attacked a writer’s gathering. Kaleme reports that Khazali had broken his earlier strike when prison authorities promised to meet his demands. However, a lack of commitment to those promises and the persistent “illegal treatment of prisoners by the interrogators and judiciary officials” have led Khazali into another hunger strike.

Irane Azad writes[fa] that the same people who make fun of  Mehdi Khazali’s hunger strike, if he dies tomorrow, will call him martyr. These people boycotted the presidential election in 2009 but after the Green Movement [protest movement] erupted, they became supporters on the frontline.

Meanwhile, blogger 666Sabz warns[fa],”People! A person is dying in prison.”

Source: GlobalVoices

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TEHRAN TODAY | 80 Minutes | Color | 1977

 

A documentary film about Tehran in 1977 by Iranian filmmaker Khosrow Sinai

 

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Khosrow Sinai (born 19 January 1941 in Sari, Iran) is an Iranian film director. His works are usually based on social documentations. He was the first Iranian film director to win an international prize after the Islamic revolution in Iran.[citation needed]He is also known as an Iranian scholar and has been awarded the prestigious Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

He graduated from Alborz highschool in 1958 (Tehran), and then went to Austria for further education where he spent four years studying Architecture at the Vienna University of Technology and three years study in music composition at the Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

He Graduated in Music Education from the Vienna Music Conservatory as a high honoured student. Finally he graduated as cinema and TV director (main study) and screenplay writing (subsidiary study) from Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (with an honours degree).

In 1963 he also published a Poetry collection Muds Blisters.

After these years of study he returned to Iran in 1967 and worked in the Ministry of Culture and Arts (till 1972), and as instructor in various universities in the fields of screenplay writing and documentary film until 1992.

He also worked in National Iranian Television (now called Seda o Sima) as producer, screenplay writer, director, and editor making about 100 short films, documentaries, and features.He is best known for his Avant-garde documentaries and also his unique style in docu-drama.He has been a juror in several national and foreign film festivals.

Albeit he made a lot of films and is respected as one of the best Iranian Film makers among intellectuals,he is not as much famous in public because of his negative attitude towards press,and vice versa.

“Arouse Atash”, (Bride of Fire)was one of his most successful films in box office,and attracted a lot of attention both by public and critique.

TEHRAN TODAY | 80 Minutes | Color | 1977 is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

Reimagining Persia’s musical traditions

628x471 | Reimagining Persias musical traditions

Tahmoures Pournazeri (left), Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Sohrab Pournazeri. Photo: Masoud Harati

San Francisco Chronicle (Lee Hildebrand) – Mohammad Reza Shajarian, once dubbed “the Pavarotti of Persian classical music” by the Toronto Globe & Mail, had never been known as a particularly political person. That was before the widely disputed re-election in June 2009 of  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Iranian singing star was photographed flashing a victory sign associated with the opposition. And he recorded a song titled “Language of Fire” that was seemingly addressed to plainclothes militiamen and security forces who were beating and killing protesters in the streets of Tehran.

“If it once happens that the pangs of conscience bother you, then lay down your gun,” he sang in multi-octave, distinctively melismatic tones.

He also demanded that state-run television stop using his music in propaganda films.

Although the vocalist was not arrested for his words and deeds, he has spent far less time at his home in Tehran and giving concerts in Iran than he did before the incidents. Shajarian, 72, lives in the United States much of the year, sometimes with Iranian friends near Sacramento.

Touring the country

He is touring the country with a 12-piece ensemble performing “Colors of Transcendence,” a new suite composed by multi-instrumentalist brothers Tahmoures and Sohrab Pournazeri that melds elements of bluegrass and flamenco with traditional Persian music. He sings lyrics drawn from Jalal-Uddin Rumi and other Persian poets with the Pournazeris’ New Instrument Orchestra, which includes six classical musicians from San Francisco who play string instruments created by Shajarian.

He seemed reluctant to discuss the incidents of 2009 as he sat on a couch at his friends’ home in Carmichael overlooking the American River. Seated to his left were Tahmoures Pournazeri, a Berkeley resident for the past five years, and translator Shala O’Neil, an Iranian exile married to an American.

“It is not possible to criticize the government,” O’Neil says.

Shajarian, who speaks only a handful of English words – including “one,” “two,” “three,” “four,” “hello,” “goodbye” and “Bill Clinton” – was more interested in talking music.

“I not only design instruments, I imagine these new strings and new ways for masters to play,” he says through O’Neil. “We needed that for my voice and certain other voices with very high notes, so I designed them to serve that purpose. I built them myself.”

Pursuing ‘more perfection’

Shajarian, who has recorded 80 albums since 1960, as a young man began experimenting with a santour, a dulcimer-like Persian instrument.

“He didn’t like the sound of it, so he tore it apart,” O’Neil explains. “With the experience of that, it made him think, ‘I can change other instruments to the point of more perfection.’ “

San Francisco classical and bluegrass violinist Philip Brezina helped organize the string section for the New Instrument Orchestra, in which he plays one of Shajarian’s designs called a del odel.

“It’s like bowing a banjo,” Brezina, 28, says later by phone. “It has a distinct Middle Eastern vocal quality that you hear when they do the prayers over the loudspeakers. It has like an in-your-throat sound. It doesn’t sound as open as a violin.” Besides del odel, other members of the string section play alto del odel, shahnavaz and shahbang, Shajarian-built instruments with ranges comparable, respectively, to viola, cello and double bass.

“It’s a very exciting, uncharacteristic opportunity in the musical world,” he adds. “We’re all having a blast.”

The Pournazeri brothers, best known for their work with their father’s internationally known Shamss Ensemble, play both traditional string instruments and some designed by Shajarian. Three Iranian percussionists – one from France, another from England and a third now studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music – complete the orchestra.

 

Getting the right notes

While all of “Colors of Transcendence” was written on paper by the Pournazeri brothers – utilizing backward flat signs (“d’s” instead of “b’s”) to notate the five quarter tones of the Persian scale – other selections being performed on the current tour, which stops at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall next Sunday, involve improvisation.

“In this project, 40 percent is improvised,” says Tahmoures Pournazeri, 35. (His younger brother, a resident of Tehran, was performing in France with a different group at the time of the interview.)

Brezina first played with the Pournazeris in the Shamss Ensemble in 2009 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He sees some similarity between the blue notes found in bluegrass and Persian quarter tones but also finds a difference.

“I have yet to be as familiar with actually finding that pitch as they are,” he says of the quarter tones. “We (the string section) play it for them, and he (Tahmoures Pournazeri) says, ‘It’s too flat.’ You play it again, and he says, ‘It’s too sharp.’ We’ve all worked on it together to try to get the right notes in our ears.”

Shajarian is a friend of the brothers’ father and has known them since they were children. He began working with them only a year ago, however.

“Many years ago, I worked with very, very top artists, and I learned a lot from them,” the singer explains through O’Neil. “I decided to work with very talented young musicians and bring my experience and mix it with their creativity.”

Shajarian does not compose lyrics but rather sets poems about “humanity” and “love,” in O’Neil’s words, to music.

Avoiding religion

“He is not a religious person,” she says. “He always does this nice poetry. He avoids anything about religion because, in his opinion, it divides, not unites.”

“We’re created a new kind of Persian music based on classical and everything Persian, but we have more worldwide music,” Pournazeri states.

“They’ve tried really hard with the fusion of Persian and Western music, so when a Westerner sits there, he would enjoy it as much as an Iranian,” O’Neil adds.

“This gentleman,” she says of Shajarian, “causes East and West to come together as one.” {sbox}

 

Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the Pournazeri Brothers and the New Instrument Orchestra: 7 p.m. next Sunday. $13-$200. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley. (510) 642-9988. www.calperformances.org.

Lee Hildebrand is a freelance writer. E-mail: sadolphson@sfchronicle.com

 

 Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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Incarcerated

 

Incarcerated is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons

Inspiring Norooz Message From Imprisoned Rights Attorney Abdolfatah Soltani

Distinguished imprisoned rights attorney Abdolfatah Soltani has sent out a Norooz (Iranian New Year)message from Evin prison which was posted by his daughter Maedeh on her Facebook.

Abdolfatah Soltani, a rights lawyer, spokesman and co-founder of the Center for Human Rights Defenders, was arrested on September 10, 2011.

Soltani was tried and convicted on charges of “receiving illegal income through being awarded the 2009 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, interviews with foreign media about his clients’ cases, and Co-founding the Center for Human Rights Defenders.

Soltani was initially sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and a 20 years ban from practicing law. His sentence was later overturned and reduced to 13 years imprisonment.

Following is translation of Mr. Soltani’s Norooz message:

“They may close your eyes, ears and mouth, but never will they be able to enchain your thoughts. So bread the bird of liberty with such pure and creative minds that it becomes so strong that it throws down and shatters the hour-glass of the life of the demon of ignorance and darkness, and tears apart the ropes and chains of the worshipers of the darkness.

May your minds be joyful and ever green, your souls cheerful, your hearts filled with love and happiness, and your arms filled with strength for building a better future.”

Happy Norooz 1392

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Maede Soltani, who lives in Germany: “My father was told that his sentence would be reduced (further) if he would apologize and speak out against Ms. Ebadi in an open letter or an interview,” Maede Soltani said. “He declined.” June 13, 2012 – By Associated Press BERLIN

 

Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on September 10, 2011. On January 8, 2012, Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi sentenced him to 18 years in prison, exile to Borazjan, and 20 years’ ban on his legal practice on charges of “being awarded the [2009] Nuremberg International Human Rights Award,” “interviewing with media about his clients’ cases,” and “co-founding the Center for Human Rights Defenders.”

 

Translation by Persianbanoo

Source: Sepidedam.com

Int. Campaign in Support of Abdolfatah Soltani:  facebook.com/Free.Abdolfattah.Soltani

Inspiring Norooz Message From Imprisoned Rights Attorney Abdolfatah Soltani is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons